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Ten Facts About #Briberygate and the Cancer Research Center Scandal

It’s a Texas story about bribes, cancer funds, and corruption. We’ve got ya covered with everything you need to know as of this moment. Texas politics is no stranger to corruption under Rick Perry and Greg Abbott – read this list of 10 facts and decide for yourself if it’s time for a change in Austin.

  1. Taxpayer money for cancer research was funneled to Abbott and Perry campaign donors

    Abbott’s biggest donors were given $42 million in taxpayer funds (Source: Lone Star Project). Meanwhile, Texas cancer patients were left behind. As Becky Arreaga says in the video below, "When I found out the money had been misspent, at first I was angry, extremely angry. I mean, these are people’s lives.”

  2. Abbott was appointed watchdog for the cancer research center…then skipped every meeting

    For four years, as questionable grant awards were handed out, Attorney General Greg Abbott did not attend a single meeting of the Board of Directors. He instead sent a staff member who missed about a third of the meetings and, as the San Antonio Express News wrote, “was not much of a presence.” (Source: San Antonio Express-News)

    Greg Abbott - See No Evil

  3. Scientists resigned in protest due to questionable cancer research grant awards

    Nobel-prize winner Dr. Alfred Gilman publicly resigned, writing to Jerry Cobbs, the chief commercialization officer for CPRIT, that “you penalize those who did their work and got it on time to favor those who were either too disorganized or too incompetent to do it.” (Source: Dallas Morning News)

    CRPIT Cartoon

  4. Public Integrity Unit investigated a criminal complaint that led to a felony indictment

    "A Travis County grand jury has indicted Jerry Cobbs, a former high-ranking official with the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, on charges that he unlawfully secured the execution of an $11 million grant for Peloton Therapeutics, a Dallas-based biotechnology firm." (Source: Texas Tribune)

    Jerry Cobbs

  5. Abbott allegedly attempted to investigate the wrongdoing he was supposed to prevent

    He launched a civil investigation into the improper cancer research grant awards - to his own donors. Unsurprisingly, he has refused to answer questions as to the status of that investigation. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

  6. Rick Perry threatened to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit - which was the office investigating the donors receiving cancer grants

    In the Spring of 2013, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was charged with drunk driving. She went before a judge, and eventually served jail time. But because the Travis County D.A. oversees the Public Integrity Unit, Rick Perry leveraged her arrest to call for her resignation, threatening to veto state-funding for the PIU. Perry would conveniently then be able to appoint her successor. Previously, two other DA's were charged with drunk driving, but Perry made no such call for resignation. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

    Rick Perry Corruption

  7. Now a grand jury is investigating a criminal complaint against Perry alleging bribery and coercion of a public official

    While a governor can veto policy, he may not use the power of his office to force another official to resign. Though his supporters argue that Perry had moral authority to call for a resignation, he did not have the legal authority to do so. Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum said, “I can tell you I am very concerned about certain aspects of what happened here.” (Source: Austin American-Statesman)

    Rick Perry Smug

  8. After the veto, the Governor's associates extended offers in exchange for the resignation of the DA investigating Perry and Abbott donors

  9. Perry hired a $450/hour criminal defense attorney - and you're paying for it

    In response, a Texas legislator has asked Abbott's office for a formal legal opinion on whether sticking the bill to taxpayers is legal. Abbott's office has yet to formally respond. (Source: Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News)

  10. Wendy Davis is fighting back against Perry & Abbott's betrayal

    At a recent event in Austin, Davis attacked Abbott for putting his cronies' interests above his, saying, “Greg Abbott allowed our cancer institute to become a piggy bank and allowed his donors to siphon off millions of tax dollars from cancer patients and from taxpayers.” (Source: Texas Observer)

    Wendy Davis